By Chris Nicholls

STOCKHOLM: Sony Ericsson has reported sales of more than 100 million phones for 2007 and an 18 per cent sales increase year-on-year for the fourth quarter in its 2007 annual report.

The company shipped 30.8 million phones in the fourth quarter of last year, but value was down slightly from the same time last year, with 3.8 billion Euro. Sony Ericsson put this down to their move into cheaper handsets.

The company put its market share growth in the quarter down to strong sales of products like the K550 Cyber-shot and the W200, W300 and W580 Walkman phones in the Americas and Europe.

Income before taxes for the quarter was 501 million Euro, in line with a year ago. Net income for the quarter was 373 million Euro.

Despite their move into cheaper handsets eroding their overall value figures, the company’s average selling price (ASP) increased slightly during the quarter, as a result of the introduction of new flag-ship Walkman and Cyber-shot phones, such as the W910 and K850 models. The trend for falling ASPs year-on-year reflected the company’s direction to broaden its product portfolio, Sony Ericsson said.

As well as strong sales of their premium products, the company also announced the high-end W890 Walkman and K630 and K660 HSDPA web phones. The company also announced its strategy to expand their PlayNow digital content distribution application into a full service proposition during 2008.

“Our target remains to become one of the top three players in the industry, and the momentum we established in 2006 and 2007 makes this a realistic and achievable ambition,” said new Sony Ericsson president Hideki ‘Dick’ Komiyama. Komiyama, formerly a Sony executive, took over from outgoing president Miles Flint in November last year.

Sony Ericsson estimated its market share of the global market increased approximately two per cent, to reach just over nine per cent for the full year 2007.